Hey guys! This is the last chapter for Samantha. Stay tuned for the last and final installment!
Spoilers for Field Trip and Biogenesis.
The next morning, Chloe sits at a ready made breakfast table as the adults enter the room.
"Breakfast?" She asks a little too chipper. Knowing what his daughter wants to ask, Mulder and Scully sit down and begin eating as if nothing is different. After watching Chloe begin to eat, the adults give each other a unified glance.
"Yes we're together, but no telling anyone," Mulder states hoping his daughter will keep the secret. The last thing either he or Scully needs is relentless office teasing, or worse a reassignment. Knowing what is at stake, Chloe agrees, but decides continually talking about it to Kyle and Anna is okay. Kissing both adults on the cheek, Chloe heads out the door excited to gossip with her friends. Mulder and Scully share an amused glance before heading off to work. However, a couple days later, Scully enters the office to find her boyfriend walking over toward a slide projector.
"I feel like I'm back in high school," Scully comments as she sits in the chair placed in front of the screen. Mulder continues to set up the slides knowing full well that his girlfriend is watching him. Finally, the man puts the last slide in place and turns out the lights. Flipping to the first slide, Mulder is a little perplexed by the double exposure of the first slide.
"'Oh. Ugh. I don't know what they did with the screen for this thing. Now, this is Angela and Wallace Schiff. It's a young married couple last seen hiking in the vicinity of Brown Mountain, North Carolina. That's Angie on the right. I should add that this is the condition in which their bodies were found after being missing for only three days... in temperatures that never got above 70 degrees'," Mulder begins as Scully comments,"'Which rules out decomposition. I'd say predation, but the... the bones would be scattered.'"
Suggestively, Mulder adds, "'Not to mention that these skeletons are not wearing any clothes.'"
Determined not to be ruffled by his comment, the red head answers, "'Right. Well, I'd say it looks like a double murder, possibly one with ritualistic overtones. The bodies may have been stripped then skeletonized, possibly by boiling or by the use of some kind of acid solution. Maybe the arrangement of the bodies has some meaning for the killer or killers. But at any rate, I'd term it "ritualistic."'"
"'That's a pretty big operation you're describing. There was no evidence found at the scene- no tire tracks, no footprints, nothing'," Mulder points out as Scully asks what he thinks is the cause. As if the answer is obvious, the man explains, "'It's Brown Mountain, Scully. That doesn't ring a bell?'"
When his girlfriend shakes her head, Mulder continues, "'The Brown Mountain lights? It's a famous atmospheric phenomenon dating back nearly 700 years witnessed by thousands of people- back to the Cherokee Indians. Strange multicolored lights are seen to dance above the peak of the mountain. There's been no geological explanation, no scientific credible explanation at all.'"
Not wanting to believe one of his cock- eyed theories, Scully questions aloud what Brown Mountain has to do with two bodies. Modestly, Mulder explains, "'As I said, there's been no scientific credible explanation but there are those of us who believe these strange multicolored lights are really...'"
"'UFOs'," Scully interjects. "'Extraterrestrial visitors from beyond who apparently have nothing better to do than buzz one mountain over and over again for 700 years.'"
Wounded, Mulder replies, "'Sounds like crap when you say it. I'm just wondering if there's a connection, Scully. I mean, the conditions of these bodies are reminiscent of certain southwestern cattle mutilations. Those are cases where there's no physical evidence and they've long been associated with UFO activity.'"
Wanting just one normal work day, Scully asks her partner why they cannot have a day without UFOs. As a counter argument, Mulder replies, "'Scully, in six years, how... how often have I been wrong?"
His girlfriend scoffs as he continues, "'No, seriously. I mean, every time I bring you a case we go through this perfunctory dance. You tell me I'm not being scientifically rigorous and that I'm off my nut, and then in the end who turns out to be right like 98.9% of the time? I just think I've... earned the benefit of the doubt here.'"
Leaving the conversation and his partner for his desk, Mulder leaves Scully dumbfounded. She gets out of the chair a minute later and walks over to the desk and sits on the edge.
"You've earned it," Scully states reluctantly. She may not like to be wrong, but will admit when her opponent wins an argument. He smiles at her answering, "Good. I'm already looking at plane tickets."
Deciding to stick to their last resort babysitter, Scully grabs her cell phone from her purse.
"Hey, Mom? Mulder and I have a case in North Carolina," The red head states as Mulder continues to make travel arrangements. "Could you get Chloe today?"
"Sure, Dana. How long will you both be gone?" Maggie asks from her end. Scully mouths to Mulder about a time frame, but gets a shrug in response. Rolling her eyes, the red head answers, "A few days? We're flying down and then renting a car, but you know how cases are."
"No, but I know how your cases are. Tell Fox I say hello. Remember to call the school and tell them I'm picking her up."
Rolling her eyes again, Scully answers, "I will, Mom. Bye."
Hanging up the phone, Scully looks over at her boyfriend and partner. He smiles at her and comes from around the desk.
"I was thinking adjoining rooms at the hotel," Mulder comments with a smile. Scully smiles back answering, "We could always say we're married and do one room."
"Dana Katherine Scully, is that flirtation in your voice?" Mulder teases. The red head merely smirks before remembering to call the school.
Chloe happily awaits an entire weekend with Maggie knowing she will probably get her favorite dinner that her father refuses to cook the last week and a half.
"You look happy," Kyle comments as he stands beside his friend. They are generally the last to be picked up from the middle school. Smiling at her friend, Chloe answers, "Maggie's picking me up today which means I get my favorite dinner!"
"Lasagna," Chloe replies. "With extra cheese and sauce."
Becoming a little hungry at the mention of food, Kyle smirks.
"Sounds good! Save me some for lunch?"
"Ha! I'm going to eat it all," Chloe declares with a wicked grin. Kyle involuntarily smiles back just as his father and brothers come up to greet him.
"Let's go! We get to go to the zoo, Kyle!" Nathan exclaims as he pulls on his brother's sleeve. Rolling his eyes, Kyle nods to his family.
"See you at school on Monday!" He calls out adding, "And don't forget to have someone sign your permission slip for the field trip!"
Chloe nods while silently amused over her friend's voice cracking as he yells. Five minutes later, the teen sees Maggie pull into the parking lot.
"I'm sorry I'm late, Chloe," Maggie apologizes as the teen shrugs before asking, "Can we have lasagna tonight?"
Not one to disappoint her surrogate granddaughter, the older Scully complies adding, "After we can have ice cream and watch a movie. How does that sound?"
"What movie?" The teenager skeptically asks. Maggie smiles seeing Mulder's facial expression in the teen before stating, "Since it's almost your graduation, I'll let you pick."
"Thanks Grandma!" Chloe hugs her before realizing what she says. Quickly she apologizes. Maggie smiles at the teen and replies, "You can call me whatever you like, Chloe. You might as well be my oldest grandchild."
"And only granddaughter," Chloe adds with a grin. The older woman smiles as she repeats, "And only granddaughter. Speaking of, let's go find you a movie."
After dinner, Chloe sits on the floor in front of the VCR trying to figure out what movie to watch. Finally choosing to watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer over Clueless, the teen sighs as she notices it needs to be rewound. Putting the VHS in, the teen presses the rewind button. Standing up, she goes to the kitchen to find two bowls of ice cream but no Maggie. Confused, she heads out of the room.
"Grandma?" Chloe calls out. "Maggie?"
Almost running into her, the teen stops when she sees Maggie's worried expression. Tentatively, Chloe calls out the woman's name. Calmly, and a little too much like her daughter, Maggie states, "Grab your coat. Your dad and Dana are at the hospital."
Chloe waits in the hospital corridor as her parents are in the ER. She is used to one of the adults being hurt, but not both. However, half an hour later, a woman in a lab coat comes out and asks for the family of the agents. Maggie and Chloe both stand.
A little concerned about the nature of the toxicology report, the attending eyes Chloe suspiciously. Putting an arm around the teen, Maggie explains, "She can handle it."
Nodding, the woman explains that the agents are being kept overnight for observation, and are trying to detox their systems. Listening carefully, Chloe asks, "What's in their systems?"
"A hallucinogen found at the site closely related to a fungus," The woman begins.
"They were tripping?" Chloe asks in awe. Both adult women are shocked at the teen's reaction, but the attending recovers first.
"In layman's terms, yes. However, they are free to have visitors soon. A nurse will come by to show you what their rooms are."
"Thank- you," Maggie answers before she and Chloe sit back down again. Turning to the teen, Maggie asks, "They were tripping?"
Hanging her head, Chloe mumbles an apology.
"I'm not the one you should apologize to. That nice doctor was trying to explain something delicately and you were rude. Now I know your father raised you better than that."
"Sorry," Chloe audibly replies before sitting silently in her chair. Still sulking, Chloe is only slightly aware of a nurse coming up to her and Maggie ten minutes later.
"Mrs. Scully? I'm Janie, your daughter's nurse. She is currently in room 259 with Mr. Mulder. They are both being detoxed, but will not leave the other's side."
Maggie nods in response before tapping Chloe on the shoulder as they head to the partners' room. Tentatively, Chloe walks in the area her parents are kept. Peeking behind the screen, the teen notices her father first.
"Chloe! Hey, Scully! Chloe's here," Mulder comments as he points to his daughter. Scully giggles.
"Hi Chloe," She answers before laughing again and mumbling something about being high.
Chloe looks at Maggie who stands behind her. Mortified, Maggie has a flashback to Melissa's pot phase in high school.
"Dana," She says going toward her daughter, "How do you feel?"
"I feel great!" Scully exuberantly replies. "Don't we, Mulder?"
Mulder grins as he answers, "Yep! Oh, Maggie? Did you know that Scully and I –"
The red head quickly shushes her boyfriend before taking particular notice of the beeping noise coming from her monitor.
"That's loud," Scully comments as she stares at her heart rate.
"You're loud," Mulder remarks causing the agents to once again dissolve in a fit of laughter once again.
Easily aware that her daughter and Mulder are not fit to leave yet, Maggie replies that she will take Chloe back with her.
"Okay! Bye!" Mulder remarks as his pain meds kick in and his eyelids begin to droop.
"I never want to see them like that again," The Chloe remarks as she and Maggie leave the hospital that night. The older woman smiles thinking the whole scene rather entertaining. Instead, Maggie puts her arm around the teen and replies, "I know."
After a few days everything goes back to normal until Chloe asks her father about a party for her graduation.
"I have a case," Mulder replies offhandedly. Flummoxed, Chloe asks why it is more important than her graduating middle school. Mulder sighs knowing his daughter's namesake is the entire reason for his obsession. After a moment he answers, "It's not. I'm sorry, Chlo. I'll be there tomorrow for your graduation, though. I promise."
The teen eyes him warily, but goes to her room.
"I can't believe she'll be a high schooler in September," Mulder remarks to Scully who sits beside him at the graduation. Both relaxing in the lull of their case, they watch the middle schoolers cross the stage. After the graduation, Scully and Mulder quickly go to find Chloe and soon find her flirting with a boy from her class. Mouth agape, Mulder tries to contain his anger as Scully places a hand on his arm. Finally able to speak, the father asks, "Is that Kyle? Is Chloe flirting with Kyle?"
"Mulder, she may not even realize she's doing it," Scully placates. The teen's interaction is shocking to her as well. Flabbergast, Mulder questions, "How can you not realize you're flirting with someone?"
His partner merely raises her eyebrow remembering the various women he flirts with during their cases.
"What?" He asks. Scully figures the obliviousness of both father and daughter is genetic. Noticing William and Katherine go up to Kyle, Scully led her boyfriend toward the small group. They all chat happily before Kyle comments that he is hungry while William heartily agrees.
"Why don't you come out to eat with us?" Katherine invites as her husband and stepson figure out lunch plans. Mulder and Scully nod before they all head out to a local restaurant in town.
Just as they are seated, one of the adults' cell phone rings. With all the adults working in government, they finally find that Scully's phone is the culprit. Heading toward a secluded spot, the red head finds out that there is a lead on their case that requires quick timing. Hanging up her phone, Scully unhappily heads back to the table.
"I'm sorry. I have to go," Scully apologizes before kissing Chloe good- bye. She hates leaving her daughter, but needs to keep her job. William and Katherine nod in understanding. Getting a phone call from Skinner twenty minutes later, Mulder excuses himself. Upset he has to leave his daughter, Mulder goes back to the table explaining his boss' call. William and Katherine say that they can watch his daughter. Mulder thanks them before telling his daughter he loves her.
"Dad," Chloe whines. Mulder gives his daughter a sympathetic look before leaving.
"It'll be okay," Kyle whispers to her. Chloe rolls her eyes and takes a sip of her Coke.
After spending the rest of the day with Kyle and his family, Chloe is more than ready to go home. Sometimes she forgets she likes being an only child.
"Are you sure you'll be okay alone?" Katherine asks before she lets the teenager out of the car. Kyle rolls his eyes from behind his step-mother's seat which causes Chloe to smirk. Katherine has been asking about the teen's safety for ten minutes now.
"I'll be fine," Chloe reassures before thanking the woman again for letting her stay over. Even if her father is not home, she can go see Anna. Heading inside the apartment building, the teen heads to the fourth floor happy to finally be home. After unlocking and opening the door, Chloe enters the apartment to find the lights off.
"Dad?" She calls out wondering what is happening as an uneasy feeling sets in. The teen goes toward the living room and is surprised to find someone besides her father in the apartment.
"Diana?" Chloe questions unaware she and her father are still in contact. Hanging up the phone, Diana turns around and assesses Mulder's daughter.
"You've grown," Diana comments. Biting a sarcastic remark, Chloe asks, "What are you doing here?"
"Your dad is sick. He asked me to bring him here."
Not believing her, the teen crosses her arms.
"And Mo- Scully couldn't have come?"
Easily catching the slip up, Diana stores away the information as she evenly responds, "Agent Scully is in New Mexico."
Chloe gives the dark haired woman a distrustful look before heading to her father's room. Noticing him burning up, the teen heads back to the living room and picks up the phone.
"Your father is fine," Diana comments. Ignoring her, Chloe waits for the person on the other line to pick up. Hearing a voice on the other line, Chloe exclaims, "Skinner? Dad's sick. I need you to call Mom for me."
"I don't know, but I'm about to call an ambulance," The teen states just as Mulder calls out Scully's name from the other room. Glaring at Diana, Chloe demands she call for help.
Entering the hospital an hour later, Chloe notices Skinner and heads toward him.
"You okay?" Skinner asks. The teen nods. "They took dad in for testing. Diana's talking to a nurse right now."
"Fowley?" The A.D. questions. Chloe nods.
"Okay. I need you to wait here for Scully, alright?" Skinner questions. Chloe nods knowing no one will tell her anything anyway. Walking into the observation room Mulder is just put in, he comes face to face with Diana Fowley. Sighing inwardly, he merely asks about his agent's mental state. Finding he is raving, Skinner quickly leaves the room and asks Chloe to be picked up by Maggie.
"But, Skinner!" Chloe complains. Skinner shakes his head used to the teen's father and knowing one or both of his agents will be upset for letting a fourteen year old stay at a hospital unsupervised at three in the morning.
Maggie picks her up an hour later, just missing Scully's frantic entrance into the hospital. Seeing Skinner in the hallway, the red head walks up to him explaining that she is just told that her partner is in the psychiatric unit.
"'I told you on the phone...'"
Angry, Scully quickly interrupts her superior as she exclaims, "'No, you said that there was bad news. You didn't tell me what was wrong.'"
"'I don't know what to do, Dana. No one else does, either. I knew you'd want to be here to see him, to talk to the doctors.'"
After a brief pause, Skinner takes the woman's hand to lead her down the hall. Confused and stating so, she soon finds herself inside an observation room with her partner behind the glass in a hospital gown.
"'Thank you for coming. He was asking for you last night'," Diana states from her place in the room. The red head glances at her boyfriend's ex- wife before turning back to Mulder who currently paces his cell. Her mouth sets as she chastises herself for not being in D.C. for her boyfriend and especially his daughter. Her daughter. As her anger ebbs, Mulder's doctor enters the room and immediately tells her not to be in the room. Dismissing his comment, Scully asks, "'What's wrong with him? This man right here, Fox Mulder?'"
Suddenly, her partner turns to the camera and screams her name much like the night before. Then, the doctor explains, "'We don't know what's wrong with him and we don't know what to do for him. He's got extremely abnormal brain function but there is no signs of stroke. We're waiting to run more tests.'"
"'Waiting for what?'" Scully fumes.
"'He's extremely violent. With what we've given him he should be in a barbiturate coma but there's brain activity in areas we've never seen before.'"
Knowing she can help her partner especially since he is calling her, the red head demands to talk with him. When told he is dangerous, Scully confidently replies, "'Not to me.'"
"'Can we speak in the hall?'" Diana questions breaking the tension between Scully and the physician. Turning her anger, Scully defensively answers Diana.
"'About what?'" She asks and is soon stopped by Skinner who opens the door. Just before exiting, Scully turns when her partner clearly calls her name. She stares at his image a moment before leaving.
Diana quickly questions Scully on what she knows about Mulder's condition until the red head turns the heated conversation from professional to personal as she interrogates Diana.
"'Why were you with him last night?'" Scully barbs tired of the woman in front of her.
"'Scully!'" Skinner admonishes. Seething, the red head comments, "'You're both liars.'"
Quickly, Scully turns on her heals and leaves the hospital. Heading to her car, she calls her mother to have her bring Chloe over.
"Mom?" Chloe calls once she enters the apartment. "How's dad? What's wrong?"
Smoothing the teen's hair, Scully bites her lip as she composes her thoughts. Taking a breath, the red head explains, "Your dad is being contained right now."
"Can they do anything?" Maggie questions from her stance by the door. Scully looks over at her mother and nods slightly. "But, I'd have to leave
"You have to save him, please?" Chloe desperately cries. Scully looks at the fourteen year old with concern as she states, "Your dad told me to take care of you. I can't do that if-"
"I'll watch out for her, Dana. Go find your partner."
With her mother's blessing, Dana Scully quickly packs a bag before heading to Africa.